Actually, at 5′ 2″ I’m taller than my mom and my grandmother (my younger sister is taller than me by an inch), but in the grand scheme of things I’m still pretty short. This was rubbed in recently when my middle son, Simon, who is now 13-years-old and in 8th grade, grew taller than me. Soon he’ll be wearing one of the cute graduation dresses for 8th grade. This seems hard to believe! If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time you’ll remember back to May 2006 when the banner up top looked like this:
Alas, he’s grown up.
The good news is I fit into his old jeans. And he’s hard on his clothes so they’ve got lots of holes in them giving me lots of opportunities to try some of those cool visible mending techniques I’ve been seeing everywhere. So this weekend I got Kristina Rodabaugh’s book, Mending Matters, out from the library and dove right in. I used some white #8 Perle cotton I already had so this was a zero cost project for me.
Step 1 was to cut a patch from some denim fabric and pin it behind the hole with safety pins, then trace the outline with some chalk. Then I trimmed away the frayed area around the hole.
Then it was time to stitch around the hole. I actually ended up taking out these stitches after this photo was taken because I had forgotten to turn the fabric under first. Whoops! But I redid it and it looks nice and neat now.
Then just lots of running stitches back and forth to attach the patch. Here’s how it looks!
The patch is surprisingly strong.
I wasn’t sure what was going to happen when I washed these jeans, but I decided to throw them in the machine and in the dryer with my regular load of laundry this weekend and they came out perfectly.
Now, of course, I want to mend everything in sight. Have you tried any visible mending? What do you think?
Ruth Kenney says
That is really cool, what you did to mend the jeans. I can see why you want to mend everything in sight. We’ll know you’ve really gone crazy when you make holes in your clothes just to mend them!! Happy day.
That looks great!, Abby! I bought Mending Matters awhile back and mended the knees on 2 pairs of my favorite old school Levis. I love the results.
Now, I want to mend holes in sweaters! You can get very creative with the stitch pattern. Kristina’s book is really lovely. Hardbound, easy to follow instructions and inspiring images.
Patty S. says
LOVE this idea! Okay, so first off, can I just say I am very jealous that you can fit into a 13 yo’s pair of jeans!?!? After getting over myself on that one, I have to say this looks awesome. I keep thinking that a cool piece of fabric, like something designed by Jessica Swift would look fabulous as your next visible mending patch!
Oh, that’s a good idea. I have some really pretty small pieces of Japanese fabrics saved up, too. I see many mending projects in my future.
There’s a LOT of ripped jeans being worn these days…maybe you can help start a new trend! I was a teen in the 70s…I remember some of those hand-embroidered jeans that classmates wore…they were works of art!
Looks great and also I bet it was fun to do…but what impresses me most is that you can wear jeans your 13-year old daughter has out-grown, no matter how short you are. You must be fit!
I posted recently about going to Orange Theory which is a really neat gym that’s got franchises all over the country. That’s helped!
I’ve heard of using sashiko-style embroidery for mending and I want to give it a go!
Cherry Heinrich says
Abby, I love what you have done here!
In the UK Visible Mending has become a thing. Have you seen this? https://tomofholland.com/about/ . Some lovely examples on this blog.
Tom would be a great person to interview I would think!
Your post reminds me of something I had long forgotten. (Is 1971 long enough ago for you?) I had a pair of pin-striped jeans and ripped a 4″ slash in the thigh. I appliqued a commercially-made patch (a yellow pear) over the slash. About as hippie-counterculture as I got….
I am so happy to see a resurgence in the artistic craft of patchwork. We did this on jeans in the 1970’s. Recycling and extending life in clothes is a very good thing. Thanks for giving this craft a plug!
Sylvia Garcia says
Last year I did a challenge with my guild , sashiko was of particular interest to me. I followed circles and lines in a bold hand quilting thread and I loved the hand work I did back in the ‘70’s, revisited here in this project. Which brings me to a patch job I did on my daughters jean jacket elbows. One was a circle about 7 “ diameter on the left and square about the same size on the right stitches in four different directions and colors. I used jean fabric for the holes I patched, and it turned out beautiful, in my opinion. But of course, any time we make time to recycle a garment it’s beautiful ! Happy sewing 🧵🌀Sylvia G
Kathy Howard says
Old is new in more than one way! I recall bold patches and embroidery on jeans in the early 70’s. I kept some of the embroidery I did. Patches are so much better than the style of wearing clothing that has more holes than fabric. No way I can get into my younger daughter’s clothes. Though my older daughter has been bigger than I am for a long time.